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Hertfordshire County Council plans to sell 'non-relevant' art

image copyrightHerts County Council
image captionDisembarkation from 'The Queen of Thanet' by Pamela Izzard is among the pictures that could be sold off
Plans to dispose of hundreds of items from a county's art collection have been endorsed by councillors.
Hertfordshire County Council has works valued at £26.2m and is concerned about the 90% at risk of deterioration.
It plans to sell or gift to museums pieces it says have little relevance to the county and could raise £400,000.
After a debate triggered by a public petition which asked for the pieces to remain as a single collection, councillors backed the plans.
The council began buying artworks in 1949, to loan to schools across the county and currently has 1,828 pieces.
In November, a report presented to the education, libraries and localism cabinet panel made recommendations which would enable the council to look after and make more accessible a smaller collection, by reducing it to works that are directly relevant to Hertfordshire.
It plans to sell off or gift more than 1,600 pieces with the money raised used to conserve the remaining 167 pieces.
Those which will remain include four Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth sculptures, which alone are insured for £21.85m.


In a petition, which received more than 1,500 signatures, the panel were asked to look at alternative ways to fund and manage the collection, ensure the artworks were retained in Hertfordshire and to put them in a trust.
After noting the petition, the panel voted to endorse the actions already being taken by the council.
At the meeting, the founder of the petition - who has asked not to be identified - told councillors that the relationship between the artworks was important and that the pieces should remain as part of a single collection.
"People want the collection to remain in the county and to be available to the public as a cultural resource," she said.
Following the debate, she said she was "disappointed".

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  • North Hertfordshire District Council

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